Amir Mansour Rahimian, cartoonist and critic, recently analyzed a cartoon by Steve Sack, an old cartoonist of the Minneapolis Star news agency, about the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
"It's a true to say ‘Don't judge someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes’ , but we have an exceptional group: cartoonists.
Along with analysts of political, economic and social events, they are the ones who do not have to be at the heart of the story. They can stand outside, there is no need for them to get involved. They are always burning and intensify this fire by analysis of different news on particular subject and from various angles. In most cases, their analysis come out right, although some may not like it. It is a complex and difficult process for cartoonists to humor very serious subjects and to make pictures of them. To make this, a cartoonist should face that issue seriously once and then extract humor from the heart of this encounter; Humor that will definitely be bitter in the underlying layers.
Steve Sack has done this and paid attention to the US withdrawal. He has received Pulitzer Prize for his new view.
In his two-step cartoon he utilized a bitter irony, and shows us four generals drawing a map of the war and moving maquette of troops with their long sticks on a map of Afghanistan. To communicate with the audience, the cartoonist has used a scene that is often shown in movies and other media.
Four generals with the flags of different countries on their shoulders. He starts the joke from here. Four generals with different epaulette and maybe they are enemies, but united to gain a common interest which outweigh all their animosities. On the right side of the image, the cartoonist shows the result of these attacks with no sense and the most violent way, he removed the table and the map and replaced it with a flaming trash can.
The changes are noticeable. The image of the generals has been retained with their sticks. This means that policies have changed and the generals who thought of war until yesterday must now keep the fire burning in the area. Another sign that the cartoonist used to not confuse the audience is the burning trash. In all riots the burning trash is a sign of the deteriorating situation and the chaos of social order. But the artist points to something else. There is nothing left of that blessed and rich land. The assailants turned it all into rubbish and set it on fire. But the story does not end there. The cartoonist sees the generals as the symbol of the belligerent policies of the leaders; Those who, like riot in street chaos, welcome any disturbance, no matter if they created it themselves or if it was someone else's trouble. What they want is for the situation to be chaotic, but it would burn them too."